The Capitals became the first NHL team to announce a jersey patch sponsorship after finalizing a “multi-year” deal with Caesars Entertainment Inc. It’s a partnership that will see the Caesars Sportsbook logo on the team’s home and third jerseys beginning with the 2022-23 season.
Eben Novy-Williams and Scott Soshnick of Sportico broke the news in August that the NHL’s Board of Governors approved a plan to sell 3 inch by 3.5 inch jersey patch sponsorships. Teams are allowed only one ad per jersey and partnerships with gambling entities are only allowed in markets where single-game sports betting is legal. They cannot be featured on away jerseys.
This isn’t the first partnership between the Capitals and Caesars Entertainment. In May 2021 the company opened a Caesars Sportsbook inside Capital One Arena.
Revenue to be made
Major League Soccer and the WNBA allowed teams to begin selling ads on uniforms over a decade ago. The NBA joined in with the 2017-18 season, reportedly pulling in over $150 million annually. It was only a matter of time before the NHL got on board, especially with the financial crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit various revenue streams.
According to Soshnick, Caesars is paying the Capitals $6 million per season for the home and third jersey patch.
Helmet ads were approved for the 2020-21 season, and after initially being a one-year experiment, they are returning. Teams were able to recoup over $100 million, according to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Bettman has previously said the league wouldn’t be the first to move in the direction of jersey ads, saying in 2015, “you’d probably have to drag me kicking and screaming, which would take a lot of money.”